About “online reviews” or how to read, hear and believe


“Don’t trust what you read. Hear for yourself.
Don’t trust what you hear. See for yourself.”

The other day I was digging the net for some reviews about Behringer ADA 8000 converter. One of the first that came out from your favorite search engine, was this.

Mr. Joe Shambro appeared as a man with reasonable common sense and trusty.  At the end of the review he was kind enough to prove his opinion by posting audio samples.

Now, my first red lights usually punch in when I read keywords like “transient detail” in conjunction with “lack of”.

Usually, when I find audio samples online, instead of just clicking on them and listening on my monitors, I just right click and save them in my temp directory. Then I quickly start my favorite DAW and drag them in, then start play. Yes, there are about 4 more clicks, but here is what you get:
No, I’ll tell you that later. Story first 😛
So, listening to the “Rain” samples, my ears noticed that the loudness of the two files sounded quite equal, but, indeed, the DIGI 002 sample was having more detail in it.

Lool, is this a problem with the “lousy mic preamps” from Behringer you are reading all over the net?
Well, brother, since my years did not noticed any noise floor on the Behringer sample, my mind rushed to the one conclusion: dynamic range / compression.
So, a quick select of the two tracks and “Statistics”menu revealed the answer: the Digi sample was more compressed than ADA’s one. Not much, but just enough to fool you. Also is true that the Digi’s sample has more highs in it, but who can say if the true natural sound is one or another?
One thing I can say for sure: when I record something, I really don’t want the recording device to compress my recordings for me.
More compression means less information (detail) in the recording and this IS irreversible. I will do my compression by myself, I pretty know how to do that.

We are all running for high dynamic range and headroom and low noise floor, but we are not able to recognize (by ear) a high dynamic range recording. Well, then, at least, brother, use the tools at your finger, and your brain, before making any glorious statement.

About the high frequencies response, well, again, in my personal opinion, these days, when so many manufacturers hype those highs in microphone design, preamps and interfaces just to fool the end user by how “bright” their products are , I definitely prefer a more conservative interface to work with.
But this is another story.

Note: I am not affiliate with any company mentioned above and I prefer expensive and fresh equipment just because I love to be avant-garde 😛

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